The Los Angeles chapter Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release yesterday to announce that it had “sent a letter to school districts and universities throughout the Greater Los Angeles area to encourage educators to promote diversity, inclusivity and mutual understanding when discussing the anniversary of September 11, 2001 (‘9/11’).” This admonition was needed, you see, because the people CAIR regards as racist, redneck Islamophobes – that is, Americans who are aware of the nature and magnitude of the jihad terror threat – are not teaching about 9/11 “in a nuanced way.” They aren’t, you see, highlighting the real victims of the 9/11 attacks: Muslims in the U.S.
In the letter, CAIR-LA Civil Rights Managing Attorney Amr Shabaik wrote that since 9/11, “federal, state, and local governments have all tried numerous methods with varying degrees of success to address America’s unresolved issues of racial, ethnic, and religious bias in order to reconcile our nation with its foundational values, such as religious freedom, diversity, and serving the world as a country of financial opportunity and political refuge.”
The implication is clear: America’s alleged racial, ethnic, and religious biases caused 9/11. Once those biases are addressed, the nation can assume its responsibilities of “serving the world as a country of financial opportunity and political refuge.”
But we aren’t there yet. Shabaik writes that “many attempts also have been made by school administrators, district boards, and other nonprofit organizations to address and improve our nation’s loss of purpose and degrading culture. Unfortunately, despite their good intentions, some educators may be unaware of the biases that they impart upon their students.”
Those biases primarily involve conflating “the entire religion of Islam with the tragic events of 9/11.” Never mind that the 9/11 hijackers and plotters repeatedly conflated their actions with the religion of Islam. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 plotters several years ago penned a lengthy Islamic defense for their actions, which included a closely reasoned explanation of why the 9/11 attacks were justified from the standpoint of Islamic doctrine and belief
But to notice that, says CAIR, would reveal “bias.”
Don’t worry, however: they’re there to help: “CAIR-LA also provided a list of educational resources for educators to supplement their lesson plans.” These included a warning: “Educators should be mindful of stereotyping the Muslim community and how this could have an impact upon students.”
Why was this so important? Because Muslim students are feeling bad: “Shabaik pointed to a recent report surveying approximately 1,500 Muslim students enrolled in public and private schools throughout the state of California. The survey, conducted by CAIR California in 2018-2019, revealed that nearly 1 in 3 Muslim students do not feel safe, welcomed and respected at school, with 29.35% of students reporting that school staff made offensive comments about Islam or Muslims at school.”
This is a good example of how CAIR uses spurious claims of victimhood to deflect attention away from the root causes of the 9/11 attacks, and of Islamic jihad terrorism in general. Note that Amr Shabaik of CAIR-LA doesn’t provide any actual evidence for the assertion that Muslim students are “vulnerable” or would be “marginalized” by honest discussion of what happened on September 11, 2001. All he offers are feelings: the Muslim students said that they did not “feel safe, welcomed and respected at school.”
The possibility that many Muslim students do not feel safe, welcomed or respected doesn’t actually tell us anything about the behavior of administrators or students. All it tells us is that many Muslim students do not feel safe, welcomed or respected. Their feelings may be entirely unjustified by the reality of the situation.
Also, “29.35% of students” claim “that school staff made offensive comments about Islam or Muslims at school.” Offensive in whose eyes? Since Hamas-linked CAIR and so many other Muslim groups claim that any honest examination of the motivating ideology behind jihad terrorism is offensive, it is impossible to know whether the school staff really said something genuinely offensive, or simply made an accurate observation about Islam.
In any case, by advancing the wholly spurious claim that Muslim students are endangered by discussion of 9/11 that examines the role of Islamic doctrine in the events of that day, Hamas-linked CAIR clearly endeavors to shut down that discussion. Who benefits from that? What would be the result of students having no idea why the hijackers attacked on 9/11? They would be more complacent regarding the jihad threat than they might be otherwise. Apparently, that is what CAIR wants.
This is a tried-and-true tactic. Many times when I have spoken around the country, at colleges and universities and elsewhere, local Muslims or Muslim students have claimed that they feel “endangered” or “threatened” by my presence. This is utterly absurd, as I have never called for, approved of, or applauded any violence, and if the Muslims in question aren’t jihadis or Sharia supremacists, I’m not talking about them anyway. But this tactic intimidates many cowardly non-Muslims into canceling such events, and that’s the goal from the start. That we would still be playing these games 19 years after 9/11 is an indication of how successful CAIR has been.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.